FIFA has called a crisis meeting with members of the organising committes from hosts Korea and Japan in a bid to solve the ticket problems which threaten to overshadow the tournament.
Many of the empty seats at matches so far have been attributed to poor ticket sales on the international market and the South Korean government is considering legal action against Byrom Plc, the FIFA-appointed ticket agent over the numbers of unsold tickets.
Problems with the FIFA website haven’t helped, where persistent crashes have hindered requests for tickets. But Fifa has blamed the co-hosts South Korea and Japan for failing to implement a joint policy on administering tickets.
Even some of the fans who have booked tickets have discovered that they mus travel hundreds of miles to collect them from designated centress.
FIFA officials admit that one of the reasons there have been so many seats is due to the success of their campaign to prevent tickets falling into the hands of touts.
Japanese FA spokesman Yukiko Koike said: “We were told that unsold overseas tickets would be sent to us for sale in Japan, so we regret that they were not.”
In Korea, some games have played to stadia which are little more than half-full.
ve the strength and the preparation to go on to the next match,” he said.